US embassy cable - 08CARACAS892

LAW ENFORCEMENT ATTACHES OUTLINE LACK OF COOPERATION ON DRUGS, CORRUPTION

Identifier: 08CARACAS892
Wikileaks: View 08CARACAS892 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Caracas
Created: 2008-06-26 16:52:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PREL SNAR VE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO4094
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHCV #0892 1781652
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261652Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1377
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L CARACAS 000892 
 
SIPDIS 
 
HQSOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD 
DEPARTMENT PASS TO AID/OTI (RPORTER) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/26/2028 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, SNAR, VE 
SUBJECT: LAW ENFORCEMENT ATTACHES OUTLINE LACK OF 
COOPERATION ON DRUGS, CORRUPTION 
 
Classified By: ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION ROBERT R. DOWNES 
FOR REASON 1.4 (D) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY. European and international police attaches 
told Legal Attache (Legat) that efforts to work with their 
Venezuelan counterparts to combat corruption and stem the 
flow of drugs through Venezuela have been largely 
unsuccessful.  The law enforcement attaches and liaison 
officers cited endemic corruption and a lack of political 
will as the main reasons for government inaction.  Some 
attaches said their missions plan to cut their law 
enforcement activities in Venezuela, while others plan to 
relocate their operations outside the country.  Attaches from 
the European Union (EU), Britain, and Canada said protecting 
business interests and concerns over high oil prices account 
for their countries' lack of public condemnation of 
Venezuela's dismal record on counternarcotics issues.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------- 
Attaches Face Uphill Battle 
--------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) Legat met June 19 with more than a dozen European 
and international police attaches who handle law enforcement 
and counternarcotics matters for the European Union (EU), the 
United Kingdom, and Canada.  (Note: Legat, other Embassy law 
enforcement, and military attaches form part of an informal 
internal police association (CODEV) which meets on a monthly 
basis to discuss international law enforcement efforts and 
cooperation in Venezuela.  End Note).  The most recent 
meeting focused on the departure of German, Canadian, 
Italian, and British liaison officers after three to six 
years of duty in Caracas.  These attaches described their 
tours in Venezuela as "unsuccessful" because they were unable 
to implement any major corruption or drug reduction 
initiatives.  These participants cited widespread corruption, 
a lack of professionalism, and political will as the reasons 
for the lack of cooperation.  Most attaches and liaison 
officers stated that they had "given up" on their Venezuelan 
counternarcotics counterparts, such as the Venezuelan 
National Drug Agency (ONA), which promises assistance and 
cooperation but does not deliver.  The recently arrived Dutch 
Attache was the only party who said his country has a 
positive working relationship with Venezuelan law enforcement 
officials. 
 
3. (C) Many attaches mentioned plans to reduce cooperation 
efforts in-country.  Attaches from Germany, Italy, and France 
told Legat they plan to diminish their counternarcotics and 
law enforcement efforts in Venezuela.  Meanwhile, the British 
and Germany missions intend to move their operations to other 
countries in the region, such as Trinidad and Tobago, to 
better address the use of Venezuela as a transit point for 
narcotics to Europe.  Separately, the French and German 
police attaches speculated that President Chavez 
intentionally wants Venezuela to become a "narco-state" in 
order to invoke martial law and extraordinary powers. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
4. (C) Despite the lack of bilateral cooperation between 
international law enforcement agencies and the Bolivarian 
Republic of Venezuela (BRV), many diplomatic missions have 
opted to not publicly confront the BRV's shortcomings in 
tackling corruption or drugs.  Attaches and liaison officers 
from EU countries, Britain, and Canada suggested that 
protecting business interests and concerns over soaring oil 
prices are the driving forces behind their countries' 
reluctance to speak out. 
 
DUDDY 

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